News | March 19, 2021

DTRA Capacity Building Efforts Enhance Partner Nation CWMD Capabilities

By DTRA Public Affairs Defense Threat Reduction Agency

In late 2019, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) formed the Building Partner Capacity Integration Cell (BPCIC) to improve capacity building program coordination amongst the agencies BPC programs, external influencers, and partner nations. DTRA’s BPC work has long served to solidify partnerships with foreign nations by working with them to enhance counter-WMD capabilities. This alliance-building approach bolsters our partners but also provides multiple benefits to the United States’ national security.

“The Agency established the BPCIC with the main objectives of building partnership capacity using a cohesive and integrated approach,” stated Meghann Daigle, the executive secretary for the BPCIC. “The Cell supports DTRA’s programmatic structure by facilitating improved incorporation of counter-threat network integration to achieve greater strategic effects. This approach aligns our goals to the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, while also assessing partner nation capability gaps. The BPCIC is also taking on the task of integrating the newly issued guidance into DTRA’s building partnership capacity planning and mission alignment.”

Partner nations and U.S. Joint Forces rely on DTRA’s expertise to address situations involving counter-WMD planning and execution. DTRA enhances partner capacity through programs that support maritime and border security, WMD interdiction and criminal investigation, and nuclear and chemical security. DTRA also supports international efforts to conduct disease surveillance, detection, identification, reporting, and response while also assisting our partners in countering asymmetric and emerging threats and networks.

“DTRA’s BPC work continues across the globe, in conjunction with a whole host of interagency and international partners, focused on helping partner nations achieve their strategic security objectives that support global security,” explained Steven Greene, co-chair for the BPCIC.

In 2019, the Agency conducted an International Joint Bioterrorism Investigations course to support a 51-member cadre from the Republic of the Philippines National Bureau of Investigations, Department of Health, Health Emergency Management Bureau, Philippine National Police College, and the University of Philippines System. This effort was one in a series of events that DTRA conducted in the Philippines, which focused on bridging public health and law enforcement coordination for bioterrorism incident investigations. The Government of the Philippines has integrated many of the disciplines provided by this course into their training academies and bioterrorism response procedures.

The Agency provides partners in the Baltics, Balkans and Black Sea regions with counter-threat network support. These efforts establish new lines of communication for additional joint planning assessments across the region. To date, DTRA facilitated more than 32 bilateral and multilateral engagements with Bulgarian counterparts. These engagements improved Bulgarian partner’s ability to thwart WMD proliferation, and enhanced interoperability between Bulgaria and regional partner nations that share in regional security, stability, and peace interests.

Romania, another key DTRA partner in the region, participated in 45 bilateral and multilateral counter-proliferation training events and workshops spanning the last two decades. These efforts have fostered partnership expansions across the region and strengthened alliances with regional partners. It is longstanding partnerships like these, in concert with the U.S. combatant commands that have laid the groundwork with many of our allies to identify other BPC training and equipment requirements that once met will further global security.

For many years, DTRA has held annual workshops with the combatant commands to increase transparency of ongoing DTRA engagements. The integration cell has codified these workshops into events that facilitate greater alignment to the national strategic policy and have increased interagency partner participation to magnify the impact and messaging on global capacity building efforts. The workshops provide an opportunity for the policy-makers to discuss countering WMD priorities, and align planning for future missions.

“DTRA’s BPC effort is vital in fulfilling the U.S. Government’s commitment to developing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with partner nations,” stated David Musgrave, DTRA’s director for implementing building partner capacity.